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Prior to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s approval in extending the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) yesterday, April 7, Palawan Provincial Health Officer Dr. Mary Ann Navarro already expressed her opinion that she is in favor of extending the ECQ until April 30.
Dr. Navarro stated that the lockdown can be safely lifted after the month of April or during the month of May.
“Sa akin, hindi ako pabor na i-end ‘yung enhanced community quarantine kasi nakatulong ‘yun sa atin. Mayroon pa tayong 224 na PUM na anytime na magkasakit sila, magiging PUI din sila. Dati libo ‘yan, marami na nga lang ang nag-graduate,” Dr. Navarro said in a phone interview recently.
She told Palawan Daily News (PDN) that if the current data will be considered, the last day that certain Persons Under Investigation (PUIs) will be back safely to the community is beyond April 12, the original date given by government for the implementation of ECQ.
“Tapos, ‘yung ibang PUM kung magkasakit within 14 days na nag-start ang kanilang quarantine period, magiging PUI sila. So, hindi advisable na i-end in one month and ECQ; hindi advisable talaga,” Dr. Navarro explained.
The Provincial Health Officer is also considering the arrival of the OFW that will be repatriated this month.
“Hindi pa namin sure [kung may mga taga-Palawan doon] kaso ni-notify na kami ng DOH [at sinabihan kaming] maghanap na raw kami ng facility kung saan sila i-quarantine,” she further said.
Navarro added that after the OFWs arrived in Manila and quarantined for 14 days, they will be again quarantined upon their arrival in their provinces.
“So, kailangang may quarantine facility na rin kami. Ang hirap pumayag ng mga hotel. Naghahanap pa [kami ngayon],” she said. The challenge in finding a hotel for PUIs is likewise felt in the City of Puerto Princesa of which, the residents of Bgy. Manggahan vehemently opposed to the City Government’s plan to temporarily use the Skylight Hotel as PUIs facility.
“Yan ay inayos nang husto ng Palawan Medical Society, may infectious disease specialists [diyan na tumingin]. Hindi naman mai-endanger ‘yung mga kapitbahay eh. Tsaka, temporary lang ‘yan, naghahanap pa ng mas malaking structure na malayo sa kabahayan. Temporary lang ‘yan kasi kailangan lang maging prepared tayo,” she explained.
PHO Navarro pointed out that, it is very important to have such kind of facility nowadays because the discharged PUIs from hospitals will not be easily accepted in their community and even in their municipalities as long as the result from RITM, saying that they are negative, is not released.
“Kaya nga…‘pag may [dumating na] negative result, grabe ang celebration namin, pati mga responder, kasi ang mga ganyan, big victory na ‘yan [para sa amin],” she exclaimed.
STUDENT SUPPORTS THE ECQ EXTENSION
Meanwhile, according to Jenny Rose Belmonte, a BA Communication student of Palawan State University (PSU), she is also in favor in the extension of the ECQ in order to fully address the crisis brought about by the Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
“Kung sakali man may isang positive, possible na mas marami ang mahahawaan. Siguro naman po, makapag-aantay naman ang mga tao. Lahat naman tayo naghihirap, kunting tiis lang kailangan natin lang muna talaga natin na makasiguro na ligtas na ‘yung bansa natin bago tayo magpumilit na matapos na ‘to dahil para rin naman po ito sa ating lahat,” Belmonte said.